Join date: Mar 15, 2022

There’s this odd mainstream idea that sex work is easy money. From the to my acquaintances who think I’m living the high life, many folks assume we simply take the fee and let people do things to us…an expensive form of star-fishing, basically. But nothing could be further from the truth. A successful escort is a VERY busy businessperson. First, there’s the time and effort we put into each session. We help our clients feel comfortable, ensure every act of intimacy flows naturally, and continually assert ourselves to ensure our customers aren’t crossing our boundaries. Outside of the booking time, there’s more prepping for sessions, accounting, social media, replying to enquiries, and staying in touch with regulars. Friends often tell me they put more hours of admin into each booking than they spend with the client. Like any small business, it’s a juggling act. And in addition to the everyday, there are also stigma, emotional labour and safety concerns to manage, if we’re to avoid the ever-present risk of ‘sex worker burnout’. Is there a secret recipe for sustainable success on a escort directory To find out, I spoke with. A smart, outspoken woman in her late thirties, her years in the biz and her experiences handling health and family concerns mean she has a lot of wisdom to share about work life balance. Charlie – affectionately known as ‘MILFy’ to her clients – has been in the industry for four years. Before becoming an escort, she had regular nine-to-five work in the public and private sectors. But everything changed when she became ill. “I went through some really big life changes,” she says. “I have an autoimmune health condition, which meant that I had to change the way I worked. And I also have a little one with special needs…all of those things kind of converged.” Some experiments with online dating led to paid dates, and she began to develop her career as a full-service provider. She says she loves the work “It's the best career I've had.” Charlie’s illness often goes unnoticed by others. These ‘invisible disabilities’ – such as – are common in the general population, and she knows many other sex workers who have gravitated towards the job because it better allows them to manage their needs. She says, “We all look normal, we all sound normal, you'd never know that we're here. But we're not able to function in the world in the same way as other people.” It wasn’t an easy transition. She was still learning to handle her diagnosis. “When I first started sex work I was really sick, and I struggled. Even as I was entering bookings, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through. At that point I needed the work because I couldn't work full time in a more mainstream setting anymore… so I started off in a very choppy way. I would cancel bookings all the time because I couldn't cope.” Eventually, she settled on a system that worked for her. Charlie advertises herself as offering a and looks for clients who put as much energy into the session as she does. “It's not just the slower stuff, but also the need for it to be a two-way experience. Early on, I ran into lots of clients that just wanted to lay back and be serviced. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not something I cope with…so I rewrote all my ads. And to this day, I say that if you're the kind of guy that likes to lay back and be serviced, I am not the girl for you.” She prefers spending time with customers who are ‘engaged in the experience’ because it feels ‘less like labour, and more organic’. Other tweaks include structuring her time so that she can spend a few days resting after a few days working. She prefers longer bookings that have a social component and is experienced at spotting timewasters early in the booking process so that she doesn’t use up too much of her mental energy on them.  Having the ability to take small deposits before each session also means less time wasted on no-shows. Charlie readily admits that everyone needs to find their own approach. “There's this spread of different clients because there's a spread of different providers. That's what makes room for all of us to thrive. I love the fact that we don't all do it the same way.” She says experimentation is key. “Over time, you just sort of hone the way you're going to do things so that it works for you…but it does take a long time to [discover] what's going to work.” She does have two dearly held pieces of advice ‘learn to say no’, and ‘slow down.’ “I've worked really hard to find my niche and do what I do well,” she says, “I say no to clients when they ask me to do things that I'm not comfortable with. And in fact, the one thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter what you've got to offer, whether you're kinky or vanilla or fat or short or tall, you look like a Barbie doll, look like a mum, it doesn't matter. There's someone out there who thinks you're amazing. So, I can say 'no' happily, and they can go find someone that's better for them.” And although it’s counterintuitive, she says learning to ‘slow down’ is essential. “Whenever people are in a hurry, they want to be the most booked and the busiest and the highest rates and everything else. And it doesn't work that way. You're watching your business evolve. And you've got this internal drive to advertise more, push more on Twitter, send out more messages to clients, get newsletter lists happening, whatever it might be. I think what we’re doing is just reacting…it doesn't work very well. So, when things are going well, I slow myself down. I look around and say, 'Where am I at right now What have I got happening What bookings do I have in my diary, where do I need to be What targets have I got financially' You know, slow it all right down instead of speeding it all up. Because I think what happens then is you burn out, and you don't make the money and you don't please the clients in the same way.” Charlie says that sex work has given her the money and the space to address her health issues and spend more time with her family. “There's a freedom to it. The focus of academics and abolitionists is always on exploitation - the trapped nature of our work - but I find it to be entirely the opposite. The freedom from the rat race and the freedom of being able to afford my vet bills, or my specialist bills, or whatever, that sort of stuff.” When it comes down to it, she says that good work life balance has a lot to do with self-care…not the indulgences, but the practicalities. “I don't look at self-care as getting a massage and having a nice lunch. Self-care is about, 'Can I pay my bills so that I'm not stressed out And can I go to the dentist and get that tooth fixed' And all those things that you've got ticking in the back of your mind all the time. ‘Do I have to work this week Or can I just be a little bit frugal and take a week to myself” Take care of work, so you can take care of your life…and make your own needs a priority so they don’t affect your earnings in the long-term. It’s a piece of wisdom I’m very grateful to hear.

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